Major U.S. Airlines waive ticket change fees

To reassure passengers and get passengers back, the three largest US airlines have decided to no longer charge change fees on most airline tickets.

With the Covid-19 pandemic, travel has become increasingly uncertain. In an attempt to reassure passengers, United Airlines was the first to announce a change in its pricing policy. It was followed the next day by American Airlines and Delta Air Lines.

While the surge in activity hoped for during the summer did not materialise, companies are seeking to offer more price flexibility.

At United and Delta alike, change fees are maintained for the cheapest basic economy tickets and international flights, while American Airlines has gone a step further by also waiving fees for international flights to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

The three airlines will also no longer charge passengers wishing to register on a waiting list for a possible seat on a flight to the same destination earlier in the day.

The fourth-largest US airline, Southwest Airlines, never charged for ticket changes. Industry-wide, change fees earned airlines $2.8 billion in 2019.

André Orban: M. Sc. Engineering
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